Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN ImageLITTLE VALLEY – Officials in Cattaraugus County are working to setup an expanded mortuary plan as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop.The Cattaraugus County Office of Emergency Services said Wednesday evening the mortuary preparations are part of new mandates from New York State.“The Office of Emergency Services would like to stress that at no time will this plan impact public safety or health,” said officials. “This office has prided itself on being prepared for all situations as they arise.”“Once our plan is approved, it will be required for Emergency Services to conduct a drill to evaluate procedures for documentation, identification, security and transportation,” officials furthered. “Lessons learned from our downstate partners show that preparation, planning, evaluation of plans, and securing the proper assets is key to success.” Officials say that two refrigerated trailers stored at the county DPW barn in the Town of Allegany will be used part of the morgue setup.
Consumers have long been warned against the hazards of eating raw cookie dough. As more cases of foodborne illness are linked to contaminated wheat flour, University of Georgia food safety experts are touting the risk in a louder, more forceful voice, while searching for ways to eliminate foodborne pathogens on wheat products.In wheat-related cases, the common carriers of the pathogens are cookie dough, cake batter and raw wheat flour. The most recent outbreak started in May and was linked to wheat flour contaminated with E. coli 026 bacteria. Three brands of contaminated all-purpose flour were found at grocery stores in eight states, to date. So far, 21 cases of E. coli 026 infections have been reported.In 2005, 26 cases in the U.S. were linked to cake-batter ice cream and in 2008 a cluster of cases in New Zealand were connected to an uncooked baking mixture. In all of these cases, the pathogen was Salmonella. In 2009, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak resulted from consumption of raw cookie dough.“In the past, the reason we warned people not to eat cookie dough was not because of the flour, but because of the raw eggs,” said Francisco Diez, director of the UGA Center for Food Safety located on the university’s campus in Griffin, Georgia. “The two main pathogens linked to wheat products are Salmonella and E. coli.”Diez says these cases could have been prevented if the flour had not been consumed raw.“Flour is not meant to be consumed raw and cookie dough is still raw flour. You have to avoid consumption of foods that contain wheat flour unless they are baked, fried or cooked otherwise,” he said. “For the most part, as long as you bake what you make with the flour, you should be okay.”According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can take two to eight days for the body to present symptoms after ingesting the bacteria. For some people, like children and those who are immunocompromised, the illness can lead to serious symptom and even kidney failure.UGA Cooperative Extension Food Safety Specialist Elizabeth Andress advises consumers who have flour from the recent recall not to use it and to discard it. If the flour was stored outside its original bag, she says to thoroughly wash and dry the flour container before using it again.“Eating raw doughs, batters or any recipe that contains raw flour can make someone sick,” she said. “Children and others should not be allowed to play with raw dough made from any flour.”Diez, who has researched ways to keep America’s food products’ safe for the past 20 years, says that the best of line of protection when handling raw flour is to always cook the food, unlike fresh spinach and lettuce where there is little consumers can do to further protect themselves.“One outbreak came from restaurants giving kids raw dough to play with and those kids got sick,” Diez said. “It involved quite a few children who had all gone to the same restaurant and played with raw dough.”Most foods that contain wheat flour are baked, cooked or fried. The heat quickly kills the organisms so there’s no reason to be concerned, Diez says. The number of food product recalls linked to wheat has increased, but Diez says that this is in part due to the food industry’s sharper focus on wheat as a possible carrier.At UGA’s food safety center, Diez and his team are working closely with the food industry and the CDC to identify ways to eliminate foodborne pathogens on wheat.“We know Salmonella can be found in dry foods and wheat flour, but we don’t know a lot about E. coli in wheat flour,” he said. “We need to know more about microbial pathogens in wheat in order to develop effective methods to prevent foodborne illnesses caused by wheat products.”From 2012 to 2014, a study examined over 5,000 wheat samples to determine the prevalence and levels of pathogens before the berries are milled into flour, Diez said. Salmonella was detected in 1.23% of the samples, E. coli occurred in 0.44% of the samples, Listeria spp. occurred in 0.08% of samples and L. monocytogenes was not detected.UGA’s most recent research shows that E. coli can survive in flour stored at room temperature for up to one year and Salmonella can survive under similar conditions for nine months. Heat treatment was found to be an effective method for reducing the risk of E. coli in flour, but was less effective in reducing Salmonella numbers.UGA research also found that storing flour at slightly higher temperatures (95 degrees Fahrenheit) for a minimum of two months before distribution can be an effective strategy for reducing both E. coli and Salmonella numbers.Some flour companies have begun to heat-treat or pasteurize their flour to reduce pathogens; unfortunately, this can affect the quality, Diez said.Pasteurization of flour, however, is not always available or appropriate for flour quality, Diez said, so UGA researchers are investigating the development of novel intervention strategies.
Layoffs – Budget Cuts – Downsizing. Every day there seems to be another news story covering the fallout from the current economic downturn. Today’s economy has created an increasingly challenging environment for human resource administrators. If you are the person responsible for the HR functions of your organization, you may know that there are federal and state employment laws that can help you maneuver through these difficult times – but how familiar are you with them?The Workforce Development Center at Champlain College, in collaboration with HRSentry, is offering a series of online workshops that can answer your questions and give you the skills needed to successfully handle the human resources issues you face every day.Workshops are delivered 100% online, giving you access to the resources and knowledge you need 24/7, on a schedule that works for you.The first workshop, “What You Need to Know about Equal Opportunity in Employment Under the Law”, provides human resource administrators with a perfect overview of current HR laws and regulations, on both the federal and state levels.For a workshop series brochure Click HereKeep your organization safe. Register Now for “What You Need to Know about Equal Opportunity in Employment Under the Law” by Clicking HereHRSentry is HRMade Simple
Press Association Liverpool have announced Steven Gerrard will have a testimonial match against Olympiacos in August. Gerrard scored one of his most famous goals against Olympiacos in 2004, helping Liverpool come from behind to win 3-1 and keep them in the Champions League. They went on to win the competition that season. Gerrard, who made his Liverpool debut almost 15 years ago, told the club’s website: “I am delighted to be honoured by Liverpool with a testimonial match and particularly thrilled that Olympiacos have accepted my invitation to play the fixture. Last time we met proved to be such a memorable game both for me personally and Liverpool Football Club. “I am also especially grateful that Olympiacos have truly embraced the aim of this match and chosen to donate their fee to charity. I am looking forward to what I know will be a fantastic game and a wonderful occasion.” The Reds will take on the Greek champions on August 3 in their only pre-season match to be played at Anfield. Proceeds from the event will go to the Steven Gerrard Foundation, while Olympiacos will donate their appearance fee to local charities in Greece.
On Sunday night Russell Wilson became the first former Wisconsin quarterback to start in and win a Super Bowl, and you better believe Wilson’s achievement will affect more than just the city of Seattle.Wilson, who threw for 206 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in Seattle’s 43-8 win over Denver, was one of four former Wisconsin football players — Seattle’s Chris Maragos and O’Brien Schofield and Denver’s Montee Ball — to be playing in the Super Bowl.With four Badgers playing in the game, along with former Wisconsin quarterback Darrell Bevell calling the plays for Seattle as the offensive coordinator, Wisconsin’s football program received a lot of free publicity that will make a difference in the program’s national recruiting efforts.Once the Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game, stories started to flood the Internet that Super Bowl XLVIII would also act as a “Badger Bowl.”Wisconsin gained national attention with stories coming from ESPN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, among many others, that took notice that there would be no shortage of Badgers in East Rutherford, N.J. on Feb. 2.But beyond the personal achievements of the former Wisconsin players reaching the pinnacle of professional football, the media attention the University of Wisconsin received became a major boost to the program’s national image, something that isn’t lost on Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez.“I have to admit, it doesn’t hurt with all the kids you’re recruiting,” Alvarez said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “Anybody who has dreams of going on to college football and then playing in the NFL, just watch the Super Bowl. It’s like free advertising for us.”Anything that can boost the perception of Wisconsin sending players to the NFL is a good thing for the program. UW isn’t necessarily seen as a program that gives a player an above-average chance of breaking into professional football like teams like Alabama, Texas or USC.Before a few seasons ago, Wisconsin had no alum that went on to become marquee NFL players, instead it may have been more famous for producing one of the bigger busts at the running back position with Ron Dayne’s struggle to produce at the next level. But now with the likes of JJ Watt and Russell Wilson grabbing the attention of the national eye, the Badgers’ NFL brand is growing.In the past, Wisconsin wasn’t seen as a place for players to go, outside of offensive lineman, if you had dreams of taking the NFL by storm. UW holds more of a mantra of a place that recruits players that fit into its system and become solid and consistent collegiate players that no one outside of the state will know about but still play an important part in the team’s success.Much like the Wisconsin men’s basketball team that takes so called “no name” players and develops them to fit the system, they play an important role in the team, graduate and move on with their lives, UW may suffer from that sort of perception. Not that it can’t sign highly rated recruits — I am aware who Melvin Gordon is.About a month ago, Wisconsin lost out on the recruiting battle to get five-star running back Joe Mixon, who chose Oklahoma, although Wisconsin was in his final three schools. Not that having a bunch of players in the Super Bowl is going to automatically change the fortunes in recruiting campaigns like this, but again, it can’t hurt. A major selling point Oklahoma offered Mixon was the fact that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is his favorite NFL player and Peterson played for the Sooners in college.So who’s to say there isn’t a young quarterback somewhere who watched Wilson win the Super Bowl and accept the Lombardi Trophy with the class that he has exhibited throughout his entire football career, tabbed him as his favorite player and will follow in his footsteps to Wisconsin?The fact is that former Wisconsin players’ success in the NFL translates into a stronger brand, which widens the recruiting net. One of the first things up and coming football players are asked is “Who is your favorite player?” or “Who would you say your game is similar to?” You have to believe Wilson gained some more young fans Sunday night that will strive to reach the heights he met in MetLife Stadium.Wisconsin was already starting to make strides at the recruiting end after reaching three-straight Rose Bowls, but now with recognizable names and one fresh Super Bowl ring, the Badgers’ recruiting list may have just gotten a little longer.